John F. Kerry
Sen. John F. Kerry
Democratic Candidate for President
Friday, November 7, 2003; 2:00 PM
In January voters in New Hampshire will cast ballots for the Democratic candidate they feel would best hold the office of the presidency. The eventual winner of the nationwide nomination process will face President Bush next November.
The Concord Monitor and washingtonpost.com will host a series of live discussions with participating Democratic candidates for President to give readers the opportunity to share thoughts and questions directly with the nominees.
Democratic candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) was online Friday, Nov. 7th at 2 p.m. to take your questions on the campaign and his vision for the United States.
The transcript follows.
Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.
Sen. John F. Kerry: Hello, I'm signing on from Londonderry New Hampshire. Looking forward to hearing your questions. Please make sure you go to www.johnkerry.com to find about more about my campaign and the important issues we are fighting for. Here we go
Sen. Kerry, I watched you speak on the Senate
floor during the energy debates in 2001 and was
inspired by your vision for a sustainable energy
future. I think energy independence is more
critical than ever for national security reasons.
What ideas would you put forth to get the U.S. to
become more self-reliant for our energy needs?
Sen. John F. Kerry: Thanks for your question.
We have to encourage the use of hybrid vehicles and invest in research and development.
We have to set a goal by 2020 that 20 percent of our energy will come from renewable fuels.
I am going to create an energy efficient trust fund to look for news sources of energy and we are going to create tens of thousands of jobs doing that.
We can't drill our way out of this.
Who are your political heroes?
Sen. John F. Kerry: People like Max Cleland who is an extraordinary example -- he's a triple amputee and a veteran. He's an extraordinary man and an excellent example for us all.
Other heroes of mine are: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy
they were leaders that took extraordinary risk. That's what political leadership is supposed to be all about.
There are so many different acts of courage from individuals that its hard to pick just one --- there are a lot of leaders in their local communities who are doing amazing work. We can all learn from their examples.
Senator Kerry, do you support the ban on partial-birth abortions recently signed into law by the President?
Sen. John F. Kerry: I don't support the President's law because it doesn't allow the exception for situations where the health of the woman is at risk.
I believe this is a dangerous effort to undermine a woman's right to choose, which is a constitutional amendment I will always fight to protect.
How would you address the nation's affordable housing crisis? This crisis affects the very poorest people the most.
Sen. John F. Kerry: It truly does, and I've worked hard to address it over the years.
I've worked hard as Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee to help address this country's housing shortage. I helped form the housing trust fund, which provides lending for low to middle income housing.
We desperately need to build more housing in this country. More working families in this country are homeless than every before -- its unacceptable and we must provide incentives for low to middle income families that need our help.
When will the Red Sox finally win a world series?
Sen. John F. Kerry: Depends on whether they make me manager or not. Within my life time -- I'm sure of it.
Chevy Chase, Md.:
Senator Kerry: First of all, thank you for your candidacy -- and for taking the time to participate in this forum. I saw Sen. Miller of Georgia last night on Hardball and I was wondering how you would respond to his claim that the Democratic party is no longer a national party -- especially that it no longer speaks for the interests of those below the Mason-Dixon line.
Sen. John F. Kerry: I disagree with Senator Miller. I respect him but I disagree with him. People below the Mason Dixon line don't have adequate health care, their water is polluted and they are losing their jobs overseas under this administration. Every time I've been down there -- people have responded very positively. I think everyday Americans understand that I will be the president to stand up to special interests and fight for them.
And last time I saw Zell, he told me that he liked my speech and that what I was saying would resonate in Georgia.
Boca Raton, Fla.:
Dear Sen. Kerry,
How important to you is the peace objective between Israel and Palestinians and what would you do differently than the Bush administration to achieve that peace? In addition, would you be willing to work with Yassar Arafat on the peace process?
Sen. John F. Kerry: It's one of the most important trouble spots in the world around which a lot of the world's tensions are related and it is imperative for a president to be deeply involved in the peace process -- The Bush administration abandoned that involvement for more than a year. I will reengage in the Middle East and work with all parties AND I'll bring together other nations to help in the process. I believe peace is attainable.
America's intelligence gathering apparatus appears to be in disarray--some claim the intelligence gathering machine is broken, while others claim that the intelligence output was misused. Do you feel there's a problem with American intelligence? And if so, how would you fix it?
Sen. John F. Kerry: Yes, there is a problem. Its a very serious one. The Bush Administration misled the American people with respect to intelligence related to Iraq. That's very serious. Its clear they were wrong on any number of issues.
That's very serious and we need to get to the bottom of the White House intelligence gathering process during the lead-up to the Iraq war.
We also need to change the culture of how we gather intelligence. We need to increase the focus on human intelligence gathering and my administration will reflect that need.
Sen. John F. Kerry: Thanks to the Washingtonpost.com, The Concord Monitor and to all of you for participating in this live chat. Those were great questions and I'm glad I had the opportunity to answer them. Again, please log on to www.johnkerry.com to find out more about my campaign and the important issues facing us all.
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